Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Post Cantor: Why are Dems So Negative About Tea Party?

Ever since the Tea Party showed its ugly mug five years ago, our Democratic friends can't seem to decide whether it's a nothingburger or a frightful threat to everything we know and love -- a KKKish assembly of racist sexist homophobic gun-toting extremists.

Moments after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) got primaried by Tea Party-ish economics professor Dave Brat, DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz quickly shot off a tweet to show how shocked she was over the Tea Party, according to Katie Pavlich.
So now the Tea Party isn't dead.  It's a mortal threat to the Republic, or at least to progressive values.

Look, I get why the Tea Party is a threat to the Republican establishment.  It makes it hard for them to play their role as the Outer Party, opposing the Inner Party progressive line but going along in the end in return for some quid pro quo.  E.g., immigration.

But the Democrats? If the Tea Party is such a monstrosity, why not keep quiet and let the racist sexist homophobes destroy the GOP?  Because the Dems are taking over the world with their Emerging Democratic Majority of minorities, women, educated and young.  Right?

The truth probably is that the Tea Party poses a real threat to the entire ruling class, Inner and Outer, because it threatens to offer an opposing narrative to the ruling class PC narrative.

Think of it from the liberal perspective.  They've managed to marginalize and intimidate the Christian Right and they have turned what might have been a libertarian Silicon Valley into dutiful liberal crony capitalists.  They have tagged the middle-class Republican Party as the Party of the Rich and with Obamacare they are 90 percent of the way to adding another permanent entitlement to the welfare state.

But then along comes this rag-tag band of Tea Partiers that just didn't get the message or the threats.

Here's what troubles me about the Tea Party question and also immigration.  I think that our ruling class could be a little more understanding about the concerns of the Tea Party and specifically the immigration question.

Look, for a nearly rich guy like me, immigration doesn't matter too much.  But for the average American it does matter.  If you are a low-skilled person then your wages are seriously degraded by competition from both legal and illegal immigrants.  Legal immigrants lower the formal economy wages; illegal immigrants push the whole low-skill economy off the books, which means that you aren't earning Social Security points and you can't buy a house because to the credit agencies you don't have income.

Right now the Democrats are playing a pretty cynical game.  They are sucking up to Hispanic immigrants and branding everyone that has a doubt about immigration reform as a racist.

But the support for immigration reform is not that deep and broad.  After educated goo-goo liberals, the only people really in favor of immigration reform are Hispanics who still have family they want to bring to the US.

Get that?  Established Hispanics don't care about immigration.  It's just the new arrivals that, understandably, want the rest of their family over here.

I think that what really scares the liberals is that the Tea Party is a bottom-up movement.  It's not like the New Left of the Sixties that were radical children of liberal parents. That was the ruling class kids cutting up a little until they wormed their way into the professoriat.  Perfectly harmless, if you are a liberal.

But the Tea Party is different.  It got started by nobodies like Keli Carender.  OK, so she's not completely a nobody, because she did some post-grad work at Oxford in England.  But the point is the Keli and many other Tea Party leaders aren't the daughters of a Somebody in the ruling class.  So the ruling class asks: who is Keli Carender: who are her people?  If you are a ruling-class member you have to worry about the Tea Party.  What is it really about?  What does it want?  Where will it end?

Probably the Tea Party will just end up as a temporary disturbance to the Force, a footnote to history.  But you never know.

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